Pernod Ricard will act on the Portman Group ruling but is clearly not happy with it

Pernod Ricard will act on the Portman Group ruling but is clearly not happy with it

The UK unit of Pernod Ricard has accused watchdog The Portman Group of “using a sledgehammer to crack a nut” in its ruling against the Pernod spirit brand.

Earlier today (16 July), The Portman Group, which is funded by the UK alcoholic drinks industry, said its "independent" complaints panel had found brand Pernod to be in breach of its rules. The labelling of the aniseed spirit does not indicate the product's abv clearly enough, the organisation ruled.

“The Independent Complaints Panel noted that, although the front label included the text ‘40%’, this was in blue font typed over a silvery background and did not stand out,” the watchdog said. “It appeared that Pernod was relying principally on its brand name to communicate the alcoholic nature of the product.

“The panel did not consider such reliance to be appropriate, given that there will inevitably be consumers who … may fail to associate the brand name with an alcoholic product.”

Although Pernod's UK division has accepted the ruling, and has agreed to amend the product accordingly, MD Denis O'Flynn disagreed with the ruling today. “Pernod Ricard UK does not share the Independent Complaints Panel's (ICP) view that the abv as stated on the front label is 'not easily legible',” he said.

“(We are) very disappointed with the issuing of the Retailer Alert Bulletin which, in our view is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.”

When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for Pernod UK said that there had not been any change in the packaging for brand Pernod for a number of years.

Earlier this year, Scottish craft brewer BrewDog attacked the Portman Group for its ruling against the Dead Pony club brand.

To read the full ruling, click here.